The 2017 Countryside Stewardship Hedgerows and Boundaries Grant Scheme is now open for applications.
The Natural England scheme will provide capital grants of up to £5,000 to plant and restore hedgerows, for earth and stone bank restoration, and to restore, repair and maintain stone walls.
For 2017 land managers with an existing ELS or EWGS agreement are eligible to apply for the grant as long as the works do not form part of another agreement. Also, in another change to eligibility, existing agreement holders with Countryside Stewardship, UELS or HLS can apply for the grant as long as the land parcel included in the application is not in an existing agreement.
The application process is straightforward. Applications must be submitted by 28 April 2017 and can be filed by post, email and online www.gov.uk/claim-rural-payments. The website includes guidance on how to complete the application. All work has to be carried out within two years of the agreement start date. All work must be completed and claimed for by 31 December 2018.